Q: We have found that people have a lot of questions throughout and following our Point of Entry, so we are considering adding a Q&A session before we wrap up the tour. Is that advisable?
Aaron in North Carolina
A: It's a little counterintuitive, but you should not have any type of open Q&A session at your Point of Entry.
If you find that there are questions people are asking over and over again, consider that feedback for what you might need to include in the Point of Entry program. Does that fact need to go in the Visionary Leader talk that your CEO gives, or should it perhaps be a myth that you debunk at one of your tour stops?
At the beginning of the Point of Entry, be sure to let people know that there is a lot to cover and that you want to be sure to honor the hour you have with them. For that reason, you ask people to hold their questions.
We find that an open Q&A session at the end could easily become dominated by one guest with several questions on a specific topic, or might lead to your program running over if you are overwhelmed with several questions. Best to end the program right after the final testimonial and Ambassador's closing. Make sure people know your event has ended, and then if people elect to stick around and talk with you, you can answer their questions one on one.
The follow-up call that occurs two or three days after your Point of Entry is where you really want to have a dialogue with each guest who attends your Point of Entry. This call, made by someone who was at the event and who had a speaking role in the program, is a research call or one-on-one focus group with each guest. Here you can talk about just the thing that interested them about your work and answer their specific questions.